The Nationals announced their spring training report dates Friday morning giving us an official countdown until it’s time to descend on Viera, Fla. for six weeks.
Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 19, 2012. Position players will follow on Feb. 23 and the first full workout will be held Feb. 25. Things start a little later than normal this year because the regular season starts almost a full week later than it did last year.
Chances are the Nationals players will be in for a bit of a different camp this year with Nationals manager Davey Johnson running his first spring training since he opened the 2000 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Asked this past week in Dallas if there was anything he’d like to implement this year, being his first as a Nationals manager, Johnson was blunt: “We don’t have enough time to go over that right now.”
Johnson’s not one to mess around. There’s a way he likes things done and there’s a way he doesn’t like them done. Even during the season last year he’d discuss seemingly unnoticeable things that weren’t being done to his satisfaction and they were almost all things that are installed in spring training.
In the short-term, though, he did say that he plans to have the Nationals doing their workouts and drills much closer together than they have in years past.
“The one thing that will change a little bit,” Johnson said, “Is I thought we were a little too spread out. We got a lot of work in but we had too many little individual stations that guys had to go through. In doing so, there’s a lot of time wasted going to different fields. I like them closer. I like to be able to jump right over there and see what’s going on and I like more interaction than individual work.”
Johnson’s already begun his plans for the 2012 camp with “books and books I’ve put together,” and now, with official report dates, everyone else can begin their own plans.
There are officially 72 days until pitchers and catchers report.